Broadcast's Q4 Ratings Declines Across Dayparts Mimic Primetime
Primetime TV, you've got some company. The broadcast
networks cumulatively were also down in C3 (live-plus-three-day commercial
ratings) during the fourth quarter of 2012 in all other dayparts, from early
morning through daytime and into evening news and late night, according to
Nielsen data compiled by media agency Carat.
Even NBC, which posted the highest broadcast primetime C3 ratings in Q4
among adults 18-49, showed sizable decreases in early morning, daytime and late
Here is a look at each daypart in C3 ratings for the fourth
ABC's Good Morning America was the leader with a 1.08
among adults 18-49, flat from the previous year; next was NBC's Today with
a 0.84 C3 18-49 rating, down a whopping 21%; and CBS This Morning
averaged a 0.52 in the demo, down 7%.
Among adults 25-54, which is considered the "news demo," ABC averaged a 1.52, up 4%; NBC averaged
a 1.17, down 18%; while CBS averaged a 0.77, down 4%. Among women 25-54, ABC averaged a 2.01, down 1%; NBC
averaged 1.56, down 19%; and CBS averaged 0.89, down 1%.
"ABC solidified its lead in the daypart, with NBC continuing
to hemorrhage viewers in the key early morning demographic of adults 25-54,"
says Billie Gold, VP, director of buying/programming research at Carat. "CBS
remained an also-ran with slight ratings losses and, overall, the daypart was down
8% in 25-54 C3 ratings."
CBS was the daytime leader among adults 18-49 with a 0.62
rating, up 2%; ABC was next with a 0.55 rating, down 8%; and NBC was third with
a 0.49 C3 rating in the demo, down 16%.
Among adults 25-54, CBS averaged a 0.89, up 6%; ABC averaged
a 0.75, down 7%; and NBC averaged a 0.64, down 11%.
Among women 25-54, which is considered the key daytime demo
target, CBS averaged a 1.21, up 6%; ABC averaged a 1.11, down 12%; and NBC
averaged 0.95, down 11%.
"ABC's success in early morning is not carrying over to its
daytime lineup, where The View has double-digit losses in the key women
25-54 demo," says Gold, pointing out that ABC has fewer overall hours of
network programming this season due to the cancellation of One Life to Live.
"CBS is now the daytime leader with its varied mix of game shows, dramas and
talk. NBC is barely programming the daypart. Overall, the daytime daypart is
down 3% in C3 among women 25-54."
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams averaged a 1.12
among adults 18-49, flat from fourth-quarter 2011; ABC World News with Diane
Sawyer averaged a 1.04, down 1%; and CBS Evening News with Scott
Pelley averaged a 0.92, down 3%.
Among the "news demo" 25-54 viewers, NBC averaged a 1.70,
down 2%; ABC averaged a 1.49, down 3%; and CBS average a 1.44, up 3%. The CBS
Evening News telecast was helped most by gains among women 25-54, where C3
ratings in the fourth quarter were up 8%.
"NBC remains No. 1 in the evening news daypart, although it
had slight declines along with ABC in the crucial adults 25-54 news demo," says
Gold. "Perennial laggard CBS is showing slight gains and is within striking
distance of ABC for second place in the demo. This daypart has been fairly
stable for the past couple of years and combined ratings are down only 1%
versus 2011 in the 25-54 demo."
The race among the three networks' late-night shows is
almost a dead heat for C3 ratings in the 18-49 demo, and a little wider among
adults 25-54, but cumulatively, they are all losing viewers.
ABC's late-night schedule averaged a 0.55 among adults
18-49, down 7%; NBC's schedule averaged a 0.54 in the demo, down 8%; and CBS
averaged 0.53, down 16%.
Among adults 25-54 in late night, ABC averaged a 0.77, down
1%; CBS averaged 0.74, down 12%; and NBC averaged 0.70, down 9%.
Overall in the daypart, the networks are down 10% among
adults 18-49 and down 9% among adults 25-54.
"Late night continues to lose viewers to cable and DVRs,"
says Gold. "Although there's been a change in the daypart with Jimmy Kimmel
Live! moving to 11:35 p.m., ABC's daypart rating is not going to be
impacted that much going forward because Nightline's reduced ratings at 12:35 p.m. are
negating any average gain."
Gold says it's also worth noting that, "although
NBC's Tonight Show with Jay Leno was the talk leader in the daypart in the
fourth quarter, its adult 18-49 rating was 20% below the number that Conan O'Brien
got in fourth quarter 2009 -- and Coco was fired in January 2010."